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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  September 26, 2012 10:00pm-11:00pm EDT

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>> certainly didn't get the weather off, by 300 degrees. give the replacements a break, you mayer in know when you will need them, even if they can't be entirely trusted. that's it for us tonight. tomorrow night, the annoying brit twit will be back on the air. they never give me an opportunity to talk to anybody but myself, even when he's sitting here. stay tuned. for now, it's "anderson cooper 360." good evening, everyone. 10:00 on the east coast. we begin tonight with breaking news that you will only see right here on 360. some of the details are astonishing. on a day when secretary of state clinton says she is still waiting for answers while the fbi investigates four americans killing in benghazi, libya. our sources reveal that not single fbi investigators has set foot at the crime scene 15 days after the terrorist attack. and that the crime scene has still not been secured. those are just two headlines, two new pieces of information
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tonight. that is not all we're learning. cnn national security correspondent fran townsend joins us now. as we often mention, fran is a former white house homeland security adviser and a member of the security adviser committee and was recently in libya with her xworm, mccann drew & forbes. also with us, bob bear and we have the daily beast. you have new reporting. >> so you understand when this happens and the fbi opens the investigation one of the first thing is go to the state department and say, please request permission for to us enter the country, get to the crime scene, benghazi, and please request that we will have the security and the ability to do that, that we will have access to the crime scene, that we will have access to any
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individuals that the libyans take into custody. none of that has -- while the fbi has made that request, we found out from senior law enforcement officials, while the fbi has made it to tripoli, they never made it to benghazi. >> haven't been on the ground in benghazi? >> no, they have no. the fbi has finally made it to tripoli, they haven't been on the ground in bengazi. they deployed their personal to a location in the region. they have conducted interviews of personnel who were there at the time of the attack. they've not been able to get -- gotten as far as tripoli, but not to benghazi. they made a request that the crime scene be secured. as we know from reporting, the state department -- we don't know whether that request was put to the libyans and whether that was denied. what happened to it. what we know for sure, the crime scene was never secured, and the senior law enforcement official i spoke to said if we get there
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now, it is not clear whether it will be of any use to us. and the third critical and astonishing point was, look, one of the things we have to do is question the individuals that the libyans have in custody to get to the bottom, to understand what they are learning and, in fact, they made that request through the state department, that was denied by libya, and so the fbi has to pass any questions they have through the state department to the libyan government that they have through the state department and then they put the questions and then you wait for that information to come back before you can follow up. not ideal way to do an investigation. i want to play something for our viewers. this is from last thursday, secretary clinton said this about the investigation. >> and we are at the very early stages of the fbi investigation. the team reached libya earlier this week. >> no mention of being on the ground there.
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is she splitting hairs here? >> in fairness to the secretary. it may be that she wanted to be coy about where they were. the fact is, it is not clear that they were inside libya and we understand that there was infighting and it took them longer than they would have liked to get into the country. they still have not gotten permission to go. >> have you ever heard of anything like this whether it is beaurocratic infighting or i guess not approval from the home country? have you ever heard of anything like this? >> i have never heard of it, anderson, this is just outrageous, in a sense that libya is obviously on the edge. but i have always seen the fbi after an attack like this right
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on the scene, either secured by state department security officers or u.s. military, the fbi got right in, checked what was missing, checked the weapons, everything else. again, i've never seen this since the takeover in theran in 1979. it tells me again that libya is a precarious situation and the state department realizes that the fbi cannot fight its way into a crime scene, and the fbi has got to be secured when it arrives on ground and there is obviously none. the libyans are not cooperating. they are not letting the fbi talk to the people they have arrested. they are the usual suspects and have nothing to do with the attack. this is an investigation that cannot possibly at this point turn up useful. for libyans not allowing access to the suspects, what does that say to you?
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>> anderson, it is the libyans, they can't decide which side they are on. this was an attack on u.s. soil. if they can't tell us who did it and why, the libyan government is on the wrong side. >> and mr. leak, you broke the story today in the daily beast that libyan officials knew element immediately this was a terrorist attack. you say they new within 24 hours. >> it was the intelligence community that not only pointed to al qaeda but they were able to pinpoint the location of one of the attackers because this person used social media. but there were a enough to clues if you will that were outside of the intelligence committee. zawahiri, the head of al qaeda right now, congratulated attackers in benghazi for getting vengeance against one of
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the key jihadists, who he asked him to get vengeance on. the date of the attack is another thing. there was intelligence coming in. intelligence sources say they located one attacker using social media. did they know his location? >> yes, but i'm -- i withheld details on that because the person as i understand is still at large. do we know if anyone has been targeted or arrested? can you say? >> at this point i have mixed signals. there were 50 people or so arrested by libyan authorities. it is unclear if those persons were innocent or guilty, but in terms of any u.s. action, nothing has been done at this point. >> you have talked to a number of sources on this? >> as the story was coming out in the aftermath of the attacks people approached me and began
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telling me what i would call the unauthorized version of the events. >> fran, you also talked to a senior official who corroborated eli lake's report that libya knew in a 24-hour period that this was the situation. >> the law enforcement source who said to me, from day one, we had known in this was a terrorist attack. we were mistified by senior officials in the administration hasn't known. why hasn't this crime scene been secured? we know that the militia and libyan government are in benghazi, perfectly capable of doing it. again, it underscores why has this investigation been handled -- mishandled and so differently from any other international -- >> let me play devil's advocate. if people in the intelligence community knew it was a
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terrorist attack, is it possible administration officials didn't want to say that because of some security reason or invest gave reason, or wanted to make sure that in the fog of battle, intelligence is often wrong? >> i think the last explanation that you offer is the most likely. look, this is an administration that had been burned where intelligence was put out there quickly. so it may be intelligence stepped back from it. the problem even with that explanation though is, when matt olsen comes out and says it is a terrorist attack, the administration is very slow. including up to yesterday with the president's address to u.n. general assembly, very slow to embrace this notion that it is a terror attack. you can't keep pointing to this film and protest when they show up with rpgsand mortars. >> that is the thing, eli.
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arguing against my devil's advocate question was, they were publicly giving in error, linking this to that video as opposed to just saying we are investigating. >> i think is there are two different things going on right now. one is what happened in cairo and that stemmed in part from a broadcaster who had jihadist sympathies, talking about the internet video in june. the second is what happened in libya, which i think had nothing to do with the outrage over the video, which started from a broadcaster in cairo. and those two narratives kind of merges, at least in the telling of the senior white house officials and other senior administration officials. >> bob, what is the significance of all of this? and secretary clinton made the strongest statement today.
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between the attacks to al qaeda. you have been saying this since shortly after the attack. what is the significance of this? >> i think the white house is reluctant to admit that libya has been lost or potentially lost. no administration wants to admit that, and, frankly, we can't blame losing libya on this administration. it was in the works a long time. there wasn't much it could do. but we have an election coming up and no one wants to take blame for messing up the arab spring. not that they have, but this is the politics of washington. >> is it too early to say that libya has been lost? >> you look at the academic stuff of eastern libya. i heard today there are multiple assassinations where people are settling scores of all sorts of strikes. it's chaotic. going back to the fbi, you can't blame them, because there is
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nobody in control of a very large city in a very big part of libya. so they are, you know -- that's the problem, at the root of it. all the facts point to that. is that nobody is in control. >> a lot of people say well look, you have societies who have been repressed for generations. in a pressure cooker. the box has been opened and a lot of weird things come out of the box. maybe long-term things will move in the right direction as the u.s. sees it. do you buy that? >> the arab spring is a long-term gain. what you have to understand -- look, if it is terrorism that we are seeing and i feel confident based on what we know, it races the question why didn't you see this coming? if there was intelligence of the growing presence of al qaeda in eastern libya, increasing threat of al qaeda. >> on the anniversary of 9/11,
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of all days. >> right, why didn't you do more? until you have that answer you will be reluctant to calling this a terrorist attack. i think there are real problems on the front end. i think that is part of what is driving the handling of it. >> amazing report. thank you very much. much more on this after the break. reaction from twro key lawmakers, we are on facebook and twitter. i will be tweeting tonight. later, how one man survived when an avalanche, a mountain of snow, came roaring down on top of him. >> having gusty winds throughout the night and that was keeping you up and sure enough a gust of wind came that was beyond what we had felt. i told my partner greg that was in the tent with me, gosh, this is a strong gust. >> he said this isn't a gust it is an avalanche. want to try to crack it? yeah, that's the way to do it!
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welcome back. if you are just joining us, sources tell us that not one single fbi agent has made it to the scene. in benghazi, where four americans were killed on 9/11. additionally, sources have not been able to secure the scene and additionally suspects have not been made available for direct fbi questioning and sources say from the get go, this looked like a terrorist
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attack. fran townsend, who broke the story a moment ago, and also, isaacson. your reaction to this information? >> this thing mystifies me. we have a policy that looks the other way. referring to the tragic death of an ambassador as a bump in the road. i do not understand the continuance of the president to look the other way and not admit the fact that this was obviously a terrorist attack. i cannot believe that the fbi is not on the ground yet. >> congressman turner, if fbi investigators have yet to set foot in benghazi, how is their investigation supposed to be kribl? >> obviously it can't be. this goes right to the failure fortunate administration's policies in libya. a year ago, the president spent nearly $1 billion u.s. attacking the gadhafi regime without a
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stated policy, what we hoped to gain, the geopolitical view of those who might come to power, and the president continues to operate in a -- an area where he has no articulated policy and four americans are dead, ambassador is dead, and the president still has yet to be able to describe what has occurred and really what is the president's policy? why is it that the president is operating a year after attacking libya without a policy? >> time was of the essence given gadhafi's intention to invade benghazi, go house to house and kill them like rats or words to that effect. and you senator jim demint have requested any diplomatic cables that might have come from ambassador chris stevens, what motivated you to make such a request. what are you hoping learn from the cables?
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>> first of all, it was myself. >> sorry. it was to you. >> right. first of all, cnn uncovered the diary of chris stevens at the scene. he thought he was in danger and on al qaeda's hit list. i can't believe that a u.s. ambassador who would write that would probably not send a cable to the u.s. state department. i think the state department should be forth write. we should know what communications they had leading up to september 11th, and, if, in fact, the united states state department knew in advance of the attack this ambassador felt like he was in danger of death or imminent demise from action and we didn't take action to secure him, that sends an appalling message to ambassadors aren't the world representing united states. >> if you requested them, can the committee subpoena the
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items if you don't get them? >> they can move forward and we have talked with members of the committee and the leadership. if the administration claims executive privilege or looks the other way we will continue to pursue it. we think the american people, the congress of the united states and certainly the family of craig stevens deserve an answer and deserve it now. >> you have been in briefings about this, what do you make about the narrative that we have heard from officials well it was linked to this video and it is still being investigated and we are not sure and today within the intelligence community, within the first 24 hours, they felt confident this was a terrorist attack? >> i don't think we can give this administration the benefit of the doubt, the fact that they are blaming it on a nonterrorist attack comes right to the heart that is a president that took nato and the united states into an offensive action without a clear stated policy, spent
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nearly $1 billion, continues to have not a clear stated policy of what our relationship is to those who are in charge, the e geopolitical evolution, and not providing the type of security that's necessary in the environment we're in. i don't think there is anybody who in congress or the senate can articulate what this president's policy is, post gadhafi in libya he certainly didn't articulate it when he began the military action against him, and he certainly isn't now, leaving americans at risk. >> congressman turner, appreciate your time. senator isaacson as well. fran, it is, you know, to be fair to the administration and these are obviously two republican members of congress, i mean, it's not clear how much the u.s. was in control of the events. there were events happening around the world and happening on the ground in libya in the streets of egypt without the u.s. being in the forefront of it, and in many cases, the u.s. was reacting as often happens in foreign policy.
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the arab spring isn't something that necessarily the u.s. has control over. >> that said, our experience tells us whether it's the east africa embassy bombings or "u.s.s. cole" in places where that are ungoverned or poorly governed, yemen, libya, because of a weak central government, there is a vacuum. al qaeda has the wherewithal to take advantage of that. al qaeda looks for safe havens around the world and it seems, appears now, that's exactly what al qaeda was doing with libya, trying to insert themselves where it was a weak or ungoverned space and take advantage of it to our great detriment. >> fran townsend, thank you very much. other news tonight, what was likely his last visit with the u.n. general assembly, mahmoud ahmadinejad called for a new world order. as he was speaking, rudy giuliani blasted president obama
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a legendary extreme skier escaped death when an ave learn hit. he talks about terror on the mountain. two friends still missing, how he survived when we continue.
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iran's president once again called for a new world order today one not dominated for western powers. >> translator: the correspond koran, the situation of the world, and the bitter incidence of history are due mainly to the wrong management of the world, and the self-proclaimed centers of power who have entrusted themselves to the devil. the order that is rooted in the anti human thought of slavery and the old and new colonialism are responsible for poverty, corruption, ignorance and
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oppression and discrimination in every corner of the world. >> ahmadinejad's remarks came a day after president obama said he would do whatever it takes to keep iran from getting nuclear arms. former mayor rudy giuliani says that president obama has betrayed the people of iran by not doing more to protect them. i spoke with mayor giuliani moments ago. have you been very critical, saying the obama administration has a cavalier ahead attitude? >> the idea you stop them from becoming nuclear by saying things like also options are on the table or -- >> isn't that what mitt romney has said? >> mitt romney is not the president. the president of the united states -- the president of the united states should be communicating is that he will take military action. >> no president ever says we're going to bomb you. george w. bush said all options on the table.
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>> ronald reagan made it pretty clear he was going to take action, he pointed missiles at the soviet union. >> was bush wrong when he didn't say we are going to bomb you, he said all options are on the table. >> this was a long time ago when bush was dealing with iran, they were five, six, seven, eight, nine years from being becoming nuclear. iran now could be months washg a year away, two years away. iran has three times increased the uranium and made it much more enriched than originally. that is a massive change in a very short period of time. and, of course, obama has a bad history of begging to negotiate. wrote a letter to the ayatollah six months to talk to him. >> what would mitt romney do better? he had the same red line as president obama? >> we don't know. we don't know what president obama's red line is, since he won't share it with us, won't share it with prime minister netan netanya
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netanyahu, he wants to keep it as fuzzy as possible. if he wants to communicate is privately to the ayatollah, that's fine. but he wants to keep it fuzzy. iran will pass the point of no return without knowing it. >> we don't know necessarily what the president has said privately to an israeli leader, but he has said publicly, acquiring a weapon is the red line. he said it yesterday at the u.n. >> he hasn't told netanyahu that. he has been begging to meet with him to set a red line. he was criticizing him for not setting a red line and leaving netanyahu in the dark which is a terrible mistake. >> he said we must prevent iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. some say we should stop them from acquiring the knowledge to make a nuclear weapon. which is different. >> that is very fuzzy language, which can lead to war. very fuzzy language and
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confusion led to the first world war. no point in being fuzzy about it now. >> you are saying that iran has the capability of a weapon, then -- >> i'm worried about that because i think we're not concentrating on the real key problem here. i don't think the key problem is iran using missiles. i think the key problem is having nuclear material that they can hand off to terrorists that they are presently -- >> we don't have a good track record, look at iraq of figuring out what capabilities people have. is it actually having the weapon the only thing we can actually positively say? >> not sure that's right, and i don't know we don't have good capability. an awful lot of iranian scientists have been killed in iran. somebody had good information about who they were, where they were living. >> you are saying we have been fuzzy and weak in diplomacy and oui sides sanctions there, is a campaign against scientists and online virus. >> the assassination campaign was from assad, not us.
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>> we don't know for sure who it was from. >> it was assad, it wasn't us. reality, this whole approach to iran has been a very, very conciliatory one, even the sanctions, longer stran used to be. 20 exemptions. >> do you see a big difference with what mitt romney is doing? >> i think mitt romney would deliver a clear message. a big difference like this, he would meet with netanyahu, sit down face to face with the man and discuss the options. this is highly irresponsible. netanyahu has to make a critical decision. he has to decide for the sake of his nation he should attack iran. he's entitled to a face-to-face, eye-to-eye discussion with the president about this the president has a problem with this. bob woodward's book is how president obama doesn't seemton how to deal with people, act with people, or meet with them. this is a critical moment where the president has to put aside whatever personal feelings he has about netanyahu, sit down
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for an hour or two, and more important that they discuss it than you and i. >> i have to leave it there. coming up, an avalanche that killed at least eight people in nepal, now a survivor speaks. >> i'm reilike, no, this isn't going to hit us. we're in a secluded, safe zone. it won't hit us. and the next thing you know, it jst -- we felt a slap almost. [ male announcer ] when this hotel added aflac to provide a better benefits package... oahhh! [ male announcer ] it made a big splash with the employees. [ duck yelling ] [ male announcer ] find out more at... [ duck ] aflac! [ male announcer ] ♪ ha ha!
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tonight a survivor of the avalanche in nepal that killed at least eight people speaks out. he is one of the most acclaimed and accomplished extreme skiers in the world, glen plake.
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>> throughout plake's career, many extreme moments. some of him doing what he does best. on sunday he was camped out on the world's eighth highest peak with other climbers. eight are believed dead. he is lucky to be alive. glen, first of all, how are you doing? >> i hate to say it, but i'm doing very, very well. i had a great climb manager that didn't let me get onto a rescue helicopter and fly to some hospital or something, and said if you're in good shape, glen, why don't you walk down to base camp and kind of taper off this mountain on your own terms and it really helped me psychologically, physically, i'm just beat up. been in a car wreck if you know what i mean. >> can you walk me through what happened? you were in your tent when it
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happened, right? >> we bedded down at camp three and was actually going to preparing for a rest day the next day. we would have stayed at camp three, wouldn't have done much. there had been some avalanche awareness in the area. so believe it or not we did in fact sleep with our avalanche beacons on. i literally had my head lamp on reading my daily devotions at 4:30 in the morning, and we had been having gusty winds throughout the night, keeping us up also. and sure enough, a gust of wind that came that was beyond what we had felt. i told my partner greg that was in the tent with me. gosh, it was a strong gust. greg said this isn't a gust, it is an avalanche and a second later, we were off to parts unknown. >> what is that like? one moment you are conscious and you are seeing things and then to get hit what is it like?
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>> it just, i've been in one before and i felt it. the wind was coming it was coming, and you know the avalanche, the winds in front could be up over 200 miles-an-hour. i'm like this isn't going to hit us, this is going to go by. we picked a good spot, we're in a secluded, safe zone. and the next thing you know, we felt a slap almost. i was airborne for quite a while i did go through some big ice cliffs, some ceraks, and felt the rumble, tumble of an avalanche, maybe like you had been knocked over we a wave in the ocean before. and i thiwas thinking myself, g, this is it.
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excuse me. i try to laugh and cry at the same time. this is it. i said this is it. and then, i don't know a couple of seconds who knows what later i felt it come to a stop and i completely started freaking out and trying to -- you only have a few seconds before the snow starts getting hard like cement. >> you are actually conscious when it hits and you are actually tumbling over and over. >> yeah i was conscious throughout the whole thing. the sun was not up yet. when i came to a stop i started thrashing about to try to make an air pocket or something and i realized i'm on top of something but i'm still in the tent. i can't rip the tent open. and i realized i'll unzip the door.
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what was surreal is that i had been reading before and my head lamp was still producing light. even though it was very dark, everything was really light and it took me a few minutes to comprehend what was happening. and then i realized, oh, my head lamp is on. anyway, as soon as i got myself out, i started screaming and yeg and went into rescue mode for my friends. unfortunately, remi, no sign of remi whatsoever. he literally disappeared. nothing that was anywhere near or associated with his tent visually. and greg, even though he was sleeping right next to me, everything that we had in that tent, i found except his sleeping bag. so they are both still missing? >> and they are both missing for sure they are -- i came to rest at about oh 6300 meters or so.
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more than 20,000 feet so your time is limited there. again, it was our first day at that altitude with a rest day planned i was standing in my skivies with no shoes on. and um, the process of thrashing about i had thrown his backpack and his sleeping bag were the same color as i threw it i realized there was a radio in that and i was able to contact our camp manager -- or our climb manager and say i have been hit by an avalanche, greg and remi are missing, i can't talk right now, i have a rescue to attend to. called them back five minutes later. i still can't talk to you. i appear to be okay, i'm still in rescue mode. this wasn't on for about 20 minutes or so, where i realized,
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oh, my gosh, i'm not in rescue anymore, i'm in my own survival mode, and i realized i better get clothes on and some shoes on, things were starting to get pretty cold. >> it is so recent i don't know if you have had time to process it. how do you go on from something like this? your friends are missing. will you climb again? where is your head right now? >> again, i was advised by an old veteran not to jump on a rescue helicopter, took his advice and i can say, in the seven hours that it did take me to walk back to base camp, i was able to say taper off of the situation, and i wasn't just plucked out of an emergency situation and sitting in a hospital or something somewhere. we had some dirty work to do. i had to call remi's wife.
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i had to call greg's father and i also had to -- you know there, are nine other people, you know, involved in this thing too. so the scene around base camp was kind of interesting. but i kind of stayed there and as far as my head is concerned, i was able to leave the mountain -- i guess well on my own terms. >> i don't want to ask you anything personal how do you make those calls to your friend's loved ones? >> it is a pretty intense roller coaster for sure. right now i'm like on a kiddy roller coaster. for a while, any person i saw, i burst into tears. right now i'm still not completely stable. but i'm there. they are hard. of course they are hard. gosh. and then the thing about this whole thing is remi and greg are missing. >> what do you want people to know about him.
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>> remi's greatest flaw, he was too enthusiastic. isn't that a great flaw to have? >> that's a great flaw to have, yeah. >> he was just always like come on, let's go, let's do this, oh, isn't this great? oh, god. we had been trekking and we got to put our skis on the first day. to slide a little bit. like the day after christmas and you got a new pair of skis. i was like mellow out man. and greg, i never really knew greg. this was our first expedition together. again, he was a great guy to travel with. you go on expedition with somebody you don't know and you share a tent with somebody for a month and he really enjoyed where he was and the culture. him and the sherpa.
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he was always in the cook tent, hanging out and making jokes with the sherp a any spare time. the summit is the summit. you go on a six-month trip and make one ski run and one summit. and that is not actually what it is all about. and greg really enjoyed every minute and every moment of the trip other than the summit. you know, it was great. cruised around kathmandu. just all over the place. really enjoyed the local setting and the travel aspect of adventure. that is what these things are. they are adventures whether it is sailing trip or a climbing trip or something. >> a young journalist in somalia was killed and wrote in his
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journal, entitled "the journey is the destination," and i think that's a lot of what you are saying. >> absolutely. it is an adventure and he really enjoyed that. he was a wonderful person to travel with and a wonderful skier. he was a french ski instructor. we never let him down. he had some great stories of some pretty high falluting people. it was very nice getting to know him. and it breaks my heart -- i thought for sure he was going to be right there. and i thought we would be going -- not a cynical laugh, but going oh, my gosh, we're alive, dude. >> glen, i'm sorry for what you have been through and i'm sorry for your friends who are missing and our thoughts and prayers are with them i appreciate you talking to us. >> i appreciate you caring.
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this is not an ordinary event. we're not adrenaline junkies. this is catastrophic, this thing. 30 year himalayan veterans going i can't believe what i'm looking at. this is a disaster is what it is. this isn't an avalanche. >> glen, thank you, again. stay strong. >> thank you guys, god bless, he did me today. >> he did. a remarkable story. coming up, the video went viral. students being pepper sprayed. you probably seen it. they sued, they found out today, how much money they could collect. details, next. and see what criteria they use. such as a 5% yield on dividend-paying stocks. then you can customize the strategies and narrow down to exactly those stocks you want to follow. i'm mark allen of fidelity investments. the expert strategies feature is one more innovative reason
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time for the riddiiculust.
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tonight there is a whole new way to go overboard with your kid's birthday party. you have had the chuck e. cheese party. you have had the clown party. what is a bouncy house party? >> hang on. i'm familiar with clowns, i'm familiar with chunk e. cheese. but what's a bouncy house party? more importantly, how can i get invited to one? i've been to a pool party. who wants to go to a pool party? >> yawn. >> we are going to have a pool party with a gator. everybody comes. >> wait. that guy doesn't really take alligators to a pool party, does he? that can't be good for gators. we need a reporter to get to the bottom of this. >> if put him on the guest list, he's guaranteed to show up. this gator makes house calls. >> i stant corrected. the guy takes alligators to pool parties. what better way is there to spice up a pool party than throw a live gator i